This approach can be described as the European alternative to the conflicting Anglo-American perspectives of intentionalism and sociological editing. Genetic criticism does not focus on one particular state of the text, but rather in the process by which the text came to be. As explained in Genetic Criticism, edited by Ferrer, Deppman and Groder:
...the chief concern [of genetic criticism] is not the "final" text but the reconstruction and analysis of the writing process. Geneticists find endless richness in what they call the "avant-texte": a critical gathering of a writer's notes, sketches, drafts, manuscripts, typescripts, proofs, and correspondence. (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2004)However, a genetic edition is more than a 'critical gathering' of primary documents. In a genetic edition it is possible to present the documents and texts that lead to the printed version of a particular work and also the variation among these printed texts.